OPINION: We all win if trade bodies merge

Only the other day I joked to one of the leaders of our two trade associations that we were due the yearly, previously silly, ‘Why don’t you guys merge?’ questioning from external pundits.

Then it was just a joke. Today, it seems like a potential reality.

It’s still a pretty embryonic issue, and few will be drawn on talking about it on the record so early. But closer ties between UKIE and Tiga would be welcomed and useful for the trade.

Outside the industry, the two have cemented connections with authorities and score respect from The Powers That Be.

Inside the industry, they are firing on all cylinders. UKIE has successfully and honestly rebranded, and is steadily growing its ranks to include atypical members. Tiga, ten years old last month, has been growing in stature, and was even praised with a Trade Association Forum Awards Best Practice prize in 2010.

Sure, as a combined force there would be a lot of interests to satisfy, and a lot of voices to manage. But games are increasingly powerful, permanently etched on culture, and with a hugely varied industry behind them.

And that means greater scrutiny.

So together, the pair could upgrade an already strong interface with the world outside games. Even better: it could achieve great things by improving the dialogue across the diverse world inside it.

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